Stardom does their own awards show at the beginning of the year, and theirs will be airing at the beginning of January. This is not a recap or prediction of what their award show will look like or how it will go. Instead, I will be picking my own categories and giving out my own “Stardom Awards” for the Stardom crew based on what happened in 2021. Of course, there is no actual award to be given, this is just me giving some hype for the best of the best from what happened in the previous year. I won’t be going into too much detail about why I made my picks as I did. Just sit back and enjoy the ride folks.
My categories for this article will include the following Stardom Awards!
- Best Trio
- Best Tag Team
- Best Unit
- Rookie of the Year
- Biggest Shock
- Best Skill
- Fighting Spirit
- Most Entertaining Performer
- Holy Shit Moment of the Year
- Special Merit award
- Match of the Year
- Most Improved
- Performer of the Year
We’re gonna start the awards off with…
Stardom Awards! Best Trio:
Cosmic Angels (Tam Nakano, Unagi Sayaka and Mina Shirakawa)
The Cosmic Angels spent a good portion of the year as the Artist of Stardom Champions and had an incredible run. They work extremely well together as a team and out of the five members of the unit, these three have the best chemistry. The Angels don’t have the belts anymore, in fact, there are no belts in the unit anymore, but they still had a stellar 2021 and the future is bright for them.
Stardom Awards! Best Tag Team: Alto Livello Kabaliwan/Donna del Mondo (Syuri and Giulia)
ALK won the titles from Himeka and Maika on 4/4 and have been champions ever since. Sure they’ve only had 4 challengers since winning the belts but a major part of that is due to Giulia sustaining and rehabbing a neck injury. I’m not quite sure why Stardom didn’t strip them of the belts since they haven’t been defended since 7/22, but they are still the champs and they may be the best tag team in Stardom right now.
Stardom Awards! | Best Unit:
With the loss of Konami due to health issues, you would think that Oedo Tai would be in a vulnerable state. However, the unit added a major name to make up for that loss. The current iteration of Oedo Tai is led by Natsuko Tora and features Starlight Kid, Momo Watanabe, Ruaka, Saki Kashima, Rina and Fukigen Death. Tora is out due to injury but she seems to be on the road to returning soon.
Oedo Tai led to the career resurgence of Starlight Kid and seems to be giving Momo Watanabe a second lease on life in Stardom. Like it or not, Oedo Tai was the best unit in Stardom for 2021.
Stardom Awards! | “Rookie” of the Year: Lady C
Lady C has only been active as a wrestler for a year, but in that year she has grown tremendously. She finally got her first win this year, which was long overdue, and she seemed to be on the verge of joining with Donna del Mondo. With Giulia doing what she did with the masked attackers, she has seemed to distance herself from that choice and we are still waiting to see what unit the tallest member of the Stardom Roster will join. My money is on Queen’s Quest, but we will see. 2022 should be a better year for the young woman and I am excited to see where she goes from here.
Stardom Awards! Biggest Shock of the Year:
Momo Watanabe Betraying Queen’s Quest
At the Osaka Super Wars PPV, Queen’s Quest and Oedo Tai faced off in a Captain’s Match with the stipulation of the losing “Captain” would be forced to join the other unit. The Captains for the said match were Momo Watanabe for QQ and Starlight Kid for OT. There was an added stipulation that said if Starlight Kid lost, she would have to unmask.
QQ had the match won, it was Momo and AZM against Starlight Kid and they seemed to be on the verge of unmasking the Kid. Lo and behold, Momo grabbed a chair and smashed it over AZM’s head and then nailed the referee with it, betraying Queen’s Quest and willingly joining up with Oedo Tai. To me, the longtime leader of Queen’s Quest betraying her unit and her best friend is the biggest shock of 2021.
Stardom Awards! | Best Skill: Azumi (AZM)
Azumi, better known as AZM, is Stardom’s resident prodigy. She’s been wrestling since she was eleven years old, giving her almost a decade of experience already. She’s only 19 and the eternal rival of Starlight Kid. She’s also, now, the longest-tenured name in the Queen’s Quest unit. AZM is one of the most skilled women on the roster, able to hang with anyone no matter where the match goes, and that is why she is my most skilled player of 2021.
Stardom Awards! | Fighting Spirit Award: Unagi Sayaka
While she was the Future of Stardom Champion, Unagi Sayaka made it her business to challenge any newcomer to the promotion and test their merit. She’s also held her own against the very top of the Stardom food chain and has grown exponentially in the ring this year. That is why she earns my Fighting Spirit award. She steps up and doesn’t back down from any challenge, no matter the odds against her. She wants to be the best and that is, IMO, the definition of Fighting Spirit.
Stardom Awards! | Most Entertaining Performer: Starlight Kid
Starlight Kid may have been forced to join Oedo Tai back on 6/12 in a unit tag match, but ever since then she has completely changed herself and become the most entertaining woman that Stardom has on their roster. From her entrance to her actual matches and even how she is after she wins, everything that Kid does now seems to have confidence, something she seemed to lack while she was with STARS. When you watch Starlight Kid, no matter if it’s in the ring or just in a promo, you’re watching the best of the best when it comes to entertainment. She is on another level, that’s all there is to it.
Stardom Awards! | “Holy Shit” Moment of the Year:
Hazuki’s Return to Stardom
At the Hana Matane Memorial Show, in memoriam for the late Hana Kimura, Hazuki came out of retirement for a tag match that also featured the legendary Kagetsu. Afterwards, it seemed as if both women would go back into retirement and we’d likely not hear from them again. Then, on August 29th, after Mayu Iwatani faced off and defeated Lady C, Hazuki shocked the entire roster, and me, when she announced that she was returning to Stardom.
For me, despite there being a myriad of options for this award, was the moment when I said Holy Shit immediately. Hazuki hasn’t lost a step and has boosted a floundering STARS unit with her joining their ranks. 2022 will be a big year for Stardom’s resident Wild Heart.
Stardom Awards! | Special Merit Award: Mayu Iwatani
Mayu Iwatani had a mixed bag as far as results go for 2021 but she never once failed to show up and put everything she had into her match. One of her biggest highlights of the year was doing a perfect moonsault off the top of a ladder. What made it more impressive was that the ladder was closed and propped up against the turnbuckle, only held in place by her teammates Koguma and Hazuki. She also defeated Oedo Tai in a 5 vs 1 match when she was trying to reclaim Starlight Kid for STARS.
Mayu Iwatani, despite her mixed bag, is still the best woman’s wrestler in the world today and she more than deserves special merit for the quality of her matches in 2021.
Stardom Awards! | Match of the Year:
Utami Hayashishita vs Syuri from Dream Queendom 12/29
I fought myself on this one for days leading up to writing this article. I really wanted to give this honour to Tam Nakano vs Giulia in their Hair vs Hair Wonder of the Stardom title match, but the Dream Queendom show’s match between Syuri and Utami was just on another level. Given their last two matches before this one ended in a double knockout and a time-limit draw, they were given a chance to fight with no time limit at all. They did not fail to deliver in what voted Stardom’s best match of 2021 on Cagematch. Syuri won that match, and the World of Stardom Championship, and will enter 2022 as the champ. Everyone needs to watch this match, especially those people booking the women’s matches in WWE and AEW. This is what women are capable of.
Stardom Awards! | Most Improved Player of the Year: Starlight Kid
There is no one on the Stardom roster that improved more in the span of a year than Starlight Kid did. In fact, her improvement happened in the span of six months and it was so great that it earned her my most improved award. Starlight Kid has always been incredible in the ring, but until she joined Oedo Tai, she lacked charisma and a presence. She was always second fiddle to Mayu Iwatani in STARS and she seemed to need a spark to rejuvenate herself. That spark came when she joined Oedo Tai and she got to work with Natsuko Tora. Since then she has improved dramatically in several areas, such as the delivery of her promo’s, confidence in herself and her skills that she seemed to lack and a presence that just hits you in the face whenever she appears. Starlight Kid went from sidekick to must-see in the span of a couple of months and won herself the High-Speed Championship. If you can think of someone more improved than her, I’d be welcome to hear about it.
Stardom Awards! | Performer of the Year: Utami Hayashishita
Despite losing the World of Stardom Championship, after 409 days, to Syuri at the Stardom Dream Queendom event, you cannot argue that Utami Hayashishita was the cream of the crop when it comes to performers in the promotion this year. Every match of hers, especially her title matches, were a must-see which is impressive for someone who has only been wrestling for a handful of years. I don’t know where she goes from here, but the Red Queen has the skills to remain at the top of Stardom’s card for years to come.